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The recent and very sudden closure of Telltale left many in the gaming industry saddened. Fans were sad because it their favorite franchises may never be finished or given a sequel. More importantly though, hundreds of employees were let go without advance warning and without severance pay.

This is a big "no-no" when it comes to little things like "laws."

A former employee of Telltale is now suing the company in a class-action lawsuit. Polygon reports that the lawsuit was filed in a federal court in San Francisco on Monday. It was submitted by Vernie Roberts on behalf of himself and the other workers that were laid off this past Friday. The suit says that Telltale did not give "cause" and did not give them "advance written notice as required by the WARN Act."


WARN Act stands for "Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act" and it is a federal law that went into effect in 1988. It essentially says that any business that have at least 100 full time employees must notify those employees at least 60 days in advance of any plant closings or mass layoffs. "Mass layoffs" being a reduction in the work force of 50 or more employees within 30 days if this number is more than a third of the total number of employees. Given that all but 25 were laid off from Telltale (and even those people will soon be gone), this certainly falls within this realm.

In 2003, California enacted their own variation of the WARN Act that lowered the company size threshold to just 75 employees and applies to any reduction of at least 50 employees. Telltale Games is located in San Rafael, California.

The lawsuit says that the layoffs at Telltale total around 275 employees. The WARN Act says that companies that do not provide 60 days notice are subject to various financial penalties. These include but are not limited to, paying all affected employees back pay and benefits for each day that they have violated. This means that since those 275 employees were not given any advance notification, they are entitled to a full 60 days of salary and benefits. That is assuming they win this class-action lawsuit.

A jury trial is being requested. The plaintiffs are seeking amounts equal to the wages and benefits that they would have earned for those 60 days plus interest. The lawsuit filing can be viewed in full below, again courtesy of Polygon.